Why We Love Apple Search Ads


Earlier this year, we wrote a blog post that highlighted Mobile Marketing Trends of 2017. In addition to focusing on tactics like app localization and automated messaging programs, the team has also been focused on acquiring quality users for our clients through paid channels, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Apple Search Ads.

Long story short - we've had quite a bit of success generating high-converting installs from Apple Search Ads. So much in fact, that we've seen conversion rates for some apps approach 30% (from free to paid users), which is comparable to organic install conversion rates! For other platforms, such as Facebook Installs, not only are the CPIs (cost per installs) high but the conversion rates, in most cases, are in the single digits.

One of the great things about Apple Search Ads is that there are NO additional creative requirements. Your app store's listing is automatically populated into an ad. In addition, an attribution SDK isn't required either to launch a campaign. The campaigns are relatively easy to set up. That being said, there are some limitations, such as bulk changes without having to do a bulk CSV upload, that might frustrate more advanced app and paid search marketers.

However, we believe that the pros far outweigh the cons. Here are some tips to start marketing your app on the Apple Search Ads platform:

  1. DO optimize your app store listing. Optimize your listing - incorporate keywords into your title, subtitle, have an attractive icon, screenshots, description, etc. Parts of these will be automatically populated into your app's ad. See our article on App Store Optimization for more tips and tricks around ASO.
  2. DO use an attribution SDK. Yes, Apple Search Ads doesn't require an attribution SDK to run ads. However, if you do have one, you get an idea of how effective those ads are - and can get insights into revenue/checkout events. Our recommendation attribution SDK is Adjust. (We do get preferred partner pricing for Adjust - so if you're interested, definitely contact us!).
  3. DO organize your campaigns and ad groups in a granular fashion. Create separate campaigns for branded terms, competitor terms, etc. Break each campaign down into broad and exact match ad groups. This not only helps you control your budget and spend, but it also helps with overall campaign performance, management, and keyword discovery!
  4. DO sign up for a new account. For new accounts - we've seen Apple offering $100 worth of free credits for Apple Ads.

We've had a lot of success on this platform with our clients. If you haven't taken a dip in the Apple Search Ads pool, we recommend that you do, sooner than later! In our experience, you'll be obtaining high quality installs, at a lower cost than other networks, while also seeing higher conversion rates for revenue events and paying customers.

If you need help setting up a campaign definitely feel free to contact us.